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QANTASforever
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Who Here Is An Atheist?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 7:28 pm

Hey everyone,

Most people I meet tend to fall into the category of 'true believer' or an 'agnostic'. I rarely meet atheists like myself.

I assume there are others on the board, and I think it would be interesting to discuss what it's like to be an atheist in whatever community/society/country you're in.

This isn't meant to be an opener for an anti-christian, anti-jewish, anti-islam, anti-religion hatefest. I'm an atheist who respects the religions of the world, but I also maintain a respectful distance.

I have kids, and I'm taking an open approach to religion. If they want to read the bible, I'll read it with them. If they want to go to church, I'll take them. If they wanted to go to a mosque I'd take them. But the difficult thing is that my children are starting to ask difficult questions about religion (How Noah fit all the animals of the world onto one boat etc), and I'm finding it tough to give them an unbiased answer without compromising my own beliefs (or lack of).

I think that atheists often find they view accepted societal norms differently from those who believe. I recently consoled a friend who had lost someone close to them - and I obviously couldn't say that their loved one was in heaven, or that prayer could bring him close to them, or that my friend would see this deceased person again - without compromising my own beliefs.

Your thoughts?

QFF
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:28 pm

I don't label myself "Atheist"; but I do not believe in god.

I've never had a problem with it. I have no problem with other people who practice religion; I just don't happen to believe in it myself (and I happen to think a lot of it is fiction anyway) - but whatever gets you through your day.

One time on campus, another student stopped me (I think he was recruiting for his church or whatever), and asked me about my beliefs. I could have just walked by, but if the person is respectful to me, I don't mind talking to them. So anyway, I mentioned that I'm not religious and don't believe in god, and this prompted him to ask me "so where do you get your morals?"

I don't really understand this question - religion is not a necessary precursor to morals. I have a pretty good idea of what I think is wrong or right, although it's always subject to change.

If I were to be religious, though, I'd probably go the way of my family and follow Hinduism.

~Vik
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
18161
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:45 pm

It is much easier to be an atheist than to be a believer.
 
oly720man
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:01 pm

Quoting TRVYYZ (Reply 2):
It is much easier to be an atheist than to be a believer.

Depends where you are and what you believe in, I'd have thought. If you're brought up in a religious environment and it sticks then your beliefs are your life and the two are inseparable. I know people who live such a life in a few different religions and I know others who have lapsed or lose it.

I'm not religious. I make no conscious effort to be unreligious (if you can do that) nor to deny any divinity, and I have no grasp on what it feels like to be religious or to have such a set of beliefs. Perhaps my brain is missing the belief plug-in. Maybe instinctively or from my background I probably live in a way that I presume religious people would be happy with, just without the prayers, the books, the history, etc, etc, that go with it all.

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 1):
"so where do you get your morals?"

The non-religious answer would be that you pinched them!

I know what you mean though. I've never understood why anyone would need a religion or be religious to be a nice person. Humanity has survived for much longer than any religion has existed and basic decency has always been there for the survival of the group.

Quoting QANTASFOREVER (Thread starter):
How Noah fit all the animals of the world onto one boat etc

My feelings about the bible and other religious texts are that they are some sort of recording of the history of the world, based on stories passed down and down by word of mouth round the campfire, and obviously open to misinterpretation. And there's the continual problem of interpreting with our 21st century brains stories written 2 or 3 thousand years ago where so much less was understood about the world and its workings.

Noah's ark

19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.

I think that this and other facts of the bible have been somehow trivialised, or even sensationalised, by artists and others through history showing the Ark with lions, elephants, giraffes, etc, etc, etc when I'd imagine that the creatures that people would have known would have been the domestic animals around at the time... ass, camel, goat, chicken, etc, etc.
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
JRadier
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:03 pm

I don't believe in a god either and I respect other religions as well (rest the same as Vik). However, if someone religions direspects me for not believing or tells me I'm less because I don't believe (think Jehova's Witnesses) that respect runs out REALLY fast!
 
searpqx
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:18 pm

I've gone back and forth over the years, sometimes considering myself an agnostic, sometimes more of an atheist. I've finally settled on agnostic atheist. I don't believe in a god, or even anything remotely like a divine influence. But I will accept that there is a possibility that there 'something', perhaps composed of our collective consciousness. We not are of it, but it is of us.

Quoting QANTASFOREVER (Thread starter):
I'm an atheist who respects the religions of the world, but I also maintain a respectful distance.

As do I. Actually religion and its role in history and society fascinates me. You can't deny either the power of the great religions, for both good and bad, going all the way back to the dawn of history. You have to respect and even more importantly, understand, the role religion has in our world to truly be knowledgeable about about what goes on about you.

Quoting TRVYYZ (Reply 2):
It is much easier to be an atheist than to be a believer.

Actually, I'd say just the opposite. I say this without denigrating those of faith, but I think its much harder to have firmly held beliefs that you've come to on your own. I don't have a body of religious literature and tradition to tell me what's right and wrong - I've had to examine everything I believe in and decide, for myself, if I consider them my core values.
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
 
Doona
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:18 pm

Quoting QANTASFOREVER (Thread starter):
I'm an atheist who respects the religions of the world, but I also maintain a respectful distance.

Yup, I fall into that category myself. I don't feel any need for spirituality in my life, and I don't see what I would gain from it.

Quoting TRVYYZ (Reply 2):
It is much easier to be an atheist than to be a believer.

And I don't see the relevance of that. And even if it is true, I have enough problems in my life.

Cheers
Mats
Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:21 pm

Quoting TRVYYZ (Reply 2):
It is much easier to be an atheist than to be a believer.

I would say that neither is easier than the other. In fact, I AM a believer. I believe there is no god.

I do sort of think that in general, it's more logical to be Atheist rather than religious. But obviously, logic has little say on human emotion.

Lately, I've found myself curious about what it would be like to believe in something like god. But I don't think I could ever join an established religion; I have no interest in learning all that I would need to know, and whatnot.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
18161
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:32 pm

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 7):
I do sort of think that in general, it's more logical to be Atheist rather than religious.

Thats what I was referring to. If you think logically and without emotions, a normal result would be not to believe in God.
But, if there were a God, would it be that easy to quantify ? Doesn't everything seem like stretching from "minus infinity to plus infinity"? All humans can do is to put limits and can comprehend discrete values.
 
CastleIsland
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:35 pm

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 7):
I believe there is no god.

God as it has been commonly accepted by Christian and/or faiths, or do you mean there is absolutely no other force that makes us alive? By that I mean, God to me is the essence that is common to all life. To me, God is not a creator, or merciful or wrathful. Rather, God is what makes all of us created.
"People don't do what they believe in, they just do what's most convenient, then they repent." - Dylan
 
EWRCabincrew
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:48 pm

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 1):
I don't label myself "Atheist"; but I do not believe in god.

I've never had a problem with it. I have no problem with other people who practice religion; I just don't happen to believe in it myself (and I happen to think a lot of it is fiction anyway) - but whatever gets you through your day.

One time on campus, another student stopped me (I think he was recruiting for his church or whatever), and asked me about my beliefs. I could have just walked by, but if the person is respectful to me, I don't mind talking to them. So anyway, I mentioned that I'm not religious and don't believe in god, and this prompted him to ask me "so where do you get your morals?"

I don't really understand this question - religion is not a necessary precursor to morals. I have a pretty good idea of what I think is wrong or right, although it's always subject to change.



Quoting JRadier (Reply 4):
I respect other religions as well (rest the same as Vik). However, if someone religions direspects me for not believing or tells me I'm less because I don't believe (think Jehova's Witnesses) that respect runs out REALLY fast!

Exactly my sentiments. I was brought up Roman Catholic and had a falling out when I was a teenager, during CCD and being confirmed (yes, I was able to make that distinction and the maturity to go through with it).

I live my life with the same morals, values and standards as most do. I am in a very loving, committed marriage, love others as I would want to be loved and live life to its fullest. All without believing in a god or higher power.

I am very respectful of other religions, actually very interested in the ways of them all (I just like to learn about things, plus it is another way of being informed and not be ignorant).

Do I have all the answers, certainly not. No one does, or ever will.
You can't cure stupid
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:10 am

Quoting CastleIsland (Reply 10):
God as it has been commonly accepted by Christian and/or faiths, or do you mean there is absolutely no other force that makes us alive? By that I mean, God to me is the essence that is common to all life. To me, God is not a creator, or merciful or wrathful. Rather, God is what makes all of us created.

Well I definitely don't believe in god as it's commonly accepted by most religions.

As for a greater spirituality - well, I'm open-minded. I have to admit, it would be cool to know that there is some strange inhuman presence out there, that manifests itself somehow. But I don't believe in it, as such.

Quoting TRVYYZ (Reply 9):
But, if there were a God, would it be that easy to quantify ?

I think the point is that believing in god makes it easier to quantify. Believing that there's something in control gives some order to what is otherwise a fairly random place.

I pretty much subscribe to the theory that I read about, of which I can't remember the name. But it basically says that things in the universe and on Earth evolved as it did because the combination of circumstances happened to be perfect to produce things the way they are.

~Vik
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:10 am

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 7):
what it would be like to believe in something like god. But I don't think I could ever join an established religion

...you do realize though that you wouldn't need to, right?

There are myriads of people with a deep faith/belief in what they perceive as God, but who have nothing to do with organized/established religion.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
disruptivehair
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:13 am

I am, but I don't really care what religion anyone else is as long as they don't shove it down my throat.

I also think that some people need religion...they don't need GOD, they just need the sense of community and belonging that religion provides, plus the social pressure to behave. Some people don't need that. Me, I don't belong anywhere and never have, so it's probably just as well that I'm atheist since people dislike me wherever I go.
 
UALPHLCS
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:24 am

Quoting QANTASFOREVER (Thread starter):
But the difficult thing is that my children are starting to ask difficult questions about religion (How Noah fit all the animals of the world onto one boat etc), and I'm finding it tough to give them an unbiased answer without compromising my own beliefs (or lack of).

When I was having my own crisis of faith, I was 18 and going into college. I looked at the Bible stories like Noah and the Tower of Babel and the like and said to myself these are just myths, so if these are myths then is the whole book myth.

What I learned from college, is that much of the Bible is allegorical. Ancient writers when they talked about numbers or size or height were never exact. These were oral histories written down and exaggerated (Like William Wallace in Braveheart making fun of his own myth to the troops)

But that doesn't mean the essential message is wrong. I have a problem with faiths that take the Bible literally. Some don't dance or drink because the Bible says not to, But the Bible says it's fine in other places. After all if you can't drink why did Jesus turn water into wine and not the other way round.

When kids begin to question the stories in the Bible it's a good time to talk about stories that teach a lesson rather than dismissing the stories. Otherwise the lesson might get thrown out with the bath water.

In the end the education I received about early Christianity based on historical evidence, like the Letter to Trajan in the second century in which a Roman Governor describes the mass to the Emperor Trajan. Or the history written by Josephus in which the Christian sect is mentioned.

For me suddenly the Bible wasn't all myth. There were things in it that could be proved, so I began to feel more confident in what was allegorical and what was historical. My crisis of faith ended.
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:50 am

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 13):
...you do realize though that you wouldn't need to, right?

I am perfectly well aware that I wouldn't need to. That was sort of my point....if I were to believe in a god of some sort, I'd do it on my own.

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 13):
There are myriads of people with a deep faith/belief in what they perceive as God, but who have nothing to do with organized/established religion.

Never said otherwise. I was only speaking about myself.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:55 am

I didn't really have any beliefs, much of my family is Christian, but they told me I should make up my own mind about what I wanted to believe, and they were not going to push anything on me. I was baptised as a Christian, but I don't follow their beliefs any more and for about 10 years I didn't care for any religion. Now though I would class myself not as an Atheist, but Pagan, and before any says it no I don't go around hugging trees. Wink

Dan Smile
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HAWK21M
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:01 am

Although Im a Believer in "THE FORCE" that controls all.Some call it God,others Allah.But I have quite a few good friends that are Atheist.
I guess its up to an Individual to believe whats right for them.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
TSS
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:30 am

I vacillate between Atheism, Buddhism, Paganism, and Agnosticism...depending on my mood and the events of the day.

Atheism because, as others have stated, it is a perfectly logical conclusion to reach for someone with an ordered and scientifically skeptical mind.

Buddhism because I have a karmic turnaround time that would make the Dalai Lama himself sit up and take notice. It's a lead pipe cinch that if I do something I know is wrong, said action or repercussions thereof are gonna bite me on the heinie almost immediately.

Paganism because I really enjoy time spent outdoors on a religious level. Not just "in my front yard" outdoors, but "deep in the woods" or "alone in the desert" or "high on a mountaintop" outdoors. The crashing silence or subtle murmurings of desolate wild places bring an inner peace to me that I can find nowhere else.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 17):
Now though I would class myself not as an Atheist, but Pagan, and before any says it no I don't go around hugging trees.  Wink

Truth to be told I'm not opposed to hugging trees, but I've found they rarely reciprocate the gesture and much prefer to go on quietly converting carbon dioxide to oxygen without physical displays of affection from humans.

And finally, Agnosticism because I realize that I don't have all the facts, let alone all the answers, and I prefer to leave myself open to further revelations and any conclusions they might lead me to draw.
Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
 
18161
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:10 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 18):
THE FORCE

What is force?
Answer: Mass* acceleration
where acceleration is rate of change of velocity and
velocity is (distance travelled)/time.
This is the scientific meaning of FORCE.
I also believe in this force.
I also believe in Power, energy, torque etc.
 
EWRCabincrew
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:11 am

Quoting TRVYYZ (Reply 20):
What is force?
Answer: Mass* acceleration
where acceleration is rate of change of velocity and
velocity is (distance travelled)/time.
This is the scientific meaning of FORCE.
I also believe in this force.
I also believe in Power, energy, torque etc.

Thank you Obi Wan.  Wink
You can't cure stupid
 
JRadier
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:17 am

Quoting TRVYYZ (Reply 20):
What is force?
Answer: Mass* acceleration

you have just made my day Big grin
 
fumanchewd
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:23 am

At one time I was a passive atheist. I then became more open and agnostic. After thinking about it constantly I came to the conclusion that life, at least for me, has to have a purpose and that without a reason or something better then me, life is nothing but experience. This existentialism only goes so far in fulfilling our purpose.

"Ex nihilo nihil fit" and all of that.

I still lapse into moments of atheism though.

In the end life is good and people are good if you look for it.
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...
 
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LTU932
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:25 am

I'm an Atheist, but I still consider it important to have some general knowledge of religions. I don't mind if someone believes in one religion or the other, as long as they don't try to convert me to their religion or come into busses and talk some horseshit about how one religion has been punished because they don't believe in the religion of the Roman Catholic Church.

I do have a major hate towards certain sects, most of all Scientology, Jehova's Witnesses, the Branch Davidians and Heaven's Gate.
Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer. - Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 208
 
TACAA320
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:32 am

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 1):
I don't label myself "Atheist"; but I do not believe in god.

Then, what's the difference ?

-------------------------------------------------------

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source
a·the·ism /ˈeɪθiˌɪzəm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ey-thee-iz-uhm] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
2. disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Origin: 1580–90; < Gk áthe(os) godless + -ism]
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source a·the·ism (ā'thē-ĭz'əm) Pronunciation Key
n.
Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
The doctrine that there is no God or gods.
'Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind'. Albert Einstein
 
fumanchewd
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:34 am

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 24):
Heaven's Gate.

Mmmm. Toxic koolaide.  spit 
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...
 
kaneporta1
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:15 am

I believe in David Hasselhoff
I'd rather die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather, not terrified and screaming, like his passengers
 
fumanchewd
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:23 am

Quoting TACAA320 (Reply 25):
Then, what's the difference ?

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I think he seems to feel "why label it?". He just doesn't believe and labeling it seems to put in into some bs context. Especially since there are organized atheist groups which can be somewhat dogmatic. At least that's how I felt the in the past.
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...
 
Halcyon
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:25 am

Quoting Kaneporta1 (Reply 27):
I believe in David Hasselhoff

Ewww! I do too, but it's exactly the same as my belief that there are starving people dying in the world: I don't like it and I wish I could do something to get rid of it!  yuck 


-Lucas  Wink
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:31 am

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 28):
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I think he seems to feel "why label it?". He just doesn't believe and labeling it seems to put in into some bs context. Especially since there are organized atheist groups which can be somewhat dogmatic. At least that's how I felt the in the past.

 checkmark 

I'd honestly probably feel a lot better about religion in general if it was strictly personal, and people didn't align themselves with large religious organizations.

You never know what someone's going to associate with the word "atheist." So, I don't typically define myself that way.

But if you want to call me atheist, then go right ahead. I could care less.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
PSA53
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:33 am

I'm not sure exactly how the joke went,but from his AM/FM recordings,George Carlin once
remarked that there was this religious sect , who teaches when you die, your soul goes to a
garage in Buffalo.

Thats good enough for me!
 checkmark 
Tuesday's Off! Do not disturb.
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:40 am

definitely an atheist , even as a child I never got the whole 'belief" thing , though sometimes I used to envy those who could seem to make themselves believe , it seems to be a great comfort to them when things go wrong
 
TACAA320
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:46 am

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 32):
it seems to be a great comfort to them when things go wrong

Indeed. Also when things go right.

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 28):

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I think he seems to feel "why label it?".

With all due respect I prefer to call things by its own name.
'Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind'. Albert Einstein
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:58 am

Quoting TACAA320 (Reply 33):
With all due respect I prefer to call things by its own name.

Call me an atheist to your heart's content:

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 30):
But if you want to call me atheist, then go right ahead. I could care less.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
YYZflyer
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:02 am

Atheist right here. I'll respect people's choice if they want to believe in God, but if they are standing outside my door (i.e. Jehova's Witnesses, again) and start an argument, I will slam the door on their face. It would be fun to get into the argument of science vs religion though.

I prefer living a life where I don't have to worry about having anything bad happen to me after I die.

 Smile
Avoid hangovers, stay drunk.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:05 am

Quoting TRVYYZ (Reply 20):

Qoute the entire sentence & you will get wise  Smile
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
CastleIsland
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:12 am

Quoting YYZflyer (Reply 35):
It would be fun to get into the argument of science vs religion though.

When I was in college we used to go down to the Galleria mall and I'd usually not even go in; choosing to stay outside and argue with the wingnut wearing sandwich boards proclaiming that I needed to read the Bible or burn in hellfire.
"People don't do what they believe in, they just do what's most convenient, then they repent." - Dylan
 
TACAA320
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:20 am

Quoting YYZflyer (Reply 35):
It would be fun to get into the argument of science vs religion though.

Was discussed zillions of times here.
'Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind'. Albert Einstein
 
18161
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:24 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 36):
Qoute the entire sentence & you will get wise

It was meant be a joke.
Either believe or not believe, up to you. I guess you don't believe in the Bible then cos you just believe in a supernatural power only and nothing else

I was under the wrong impression that you were a Christian  Wink

[Edited 2007-03-20 22:32:01]
 
TACAA320
Posts: 7153
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 3:03 am

RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:24 am

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 34):
Call me an atheist to your heart's content:
I will.

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 34):
I could care less.
As well as I could care less your religious orientation.

[Edited 2007-03-20 22:27:07]
'Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind'. Albert Einstein
 
QANTASforever
Topic Author
Posts: 5791
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2001 6:03 am

RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:25 am

Quoting TRVYYZ (Reply 2):
It is much easier to be an atheist than to be a believer.

I strongly disagree. Religion is of great comfort to so many people. It affords them a ready-made system of morals and standards of behaviour. To not believe, to recognise that there is no all loving "god" who has a plan for your life, that you're not going to be reincarnated, that you're not going to spend all eternity on a cloud with angels above you - THAT is a difficult realisation to contend with.

Quoting UALPHLCS (Reply 15):
When kids begin to question the stories in the Bible it's a good time to talk about stories that teach a lesson rather than dismissing the stories. Otherwise the lesson might get thrown out with the bath water.

I think that is excellent advice. Thank you sir.

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 23):
After thinking about it constantly I came to the conclusion that life, at least for me, has to have a purpose and that without a reason or something better then me, life is nothing but experience.

So you turned to religion not because you were swayed by the overwhealming evidence in support of the existence of god, but because you wanted to imbue your life with meaning because you realised there is no meaning to life?

If that is the case, you almost sound like an atheist in denial.

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 30):
You never know what someone's going to associate with the word "atheist." So, I don't typically define myself that way.

Don't be swayed by people's reaction to a word. It's employed to describe those people without a religion - if others associate it with something profoundly negative - that's their problem.

Quoting YYZflyer (Reply 35):
I prefer living a life where I don't have to worry about having anything bad happen to me after I die.

...or anything good. That's what so many find difficult to deal with.

Quoting TACAA320 (Reply 40):
I could care less.
As well as I could care less your religious orientation.

Guys, I hate to be picky - but to say that you 'could' care less implies you already care to some degree. If you "couldn't" care less it means that you do not care to any degree thus could not care less.

QFF

P.S. Nice to know a godless heathen like me isn't alone!  Wink
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
Kunoichi
Posts: 743
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:27 am

I find it hard to label myself anything:
I believe there's SOMETHING, but I don't believe that its name is God, Allah, Buddha or anything like that. I believe that it's something that somehow controls the way our life begins and ends and what happens inbetween- whether it's "coincidence" or "fate", I don't know.

I've been baptised protestant, confirmed/dedicated protestant, and I'll probably get married in a church too- because that's what I've been raised to want to do, and I'd hate to hurt my family by not doing it -besides, I do not deny that there is a god up there (heck, that belief is as good as mine) and I've always been able to get a good conversation going with the local priest- he's baptised me, he's confirmed me and I hope that someday, he'll be the one performing the wedding ceremony.

I also pray sometimes- just because it's nice to say the things out loud and imagine that someone is actually listening to you even though that may not be the case.

So I believe in God, and I don't... I'm not sure what that makes me... Big grin
"Do you speak fluent Canadian?"
 
fumanchewd
Posts: 2878
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:23 am

Quoting QANTASforever (Reply 41):
So you turned to religion not because you were swayed by the overwhealming evidence in support of the existence of god, but because you wanted to imbue your life with meaning because you realised there is no meaning to life?

If that is the case, you almost sound like an atheist in denial.

First off, you have no right to judge my personal religous/spiritual beliefs. You know nothing of me and any judgements that you have of my beliefs just clarify what type of person you are.

Secondly, I never said that I "turned" to religion. Over a course of time I've come to a rationalization of a god. I am not the type of person to have a "leap of faith" as they say.

Thirdly, I believe that you seemed to twist my beliefs to fit into your perception of theism and atheism. It is not because I needed meaning that I came to understand god, but because that I saw the prevalent meaning in life, I came to understand god. You are looking at it as a crutch for me living day to day, when in fact it became evident to me that there is a meaning to life and god is the necessary end to that meaning for me. I'm not sure if you are a hardcore atheist but is apparent that you believe that crap that "religion is an opiate for the masses". We all know that Marx was full of it and all of his adolescent university student ideas were reactionary to his life's experiences. Its funny, I know about as many judgemental and closed minded atheists as I do religious people.

My beliefs are not set in stone and change day to day. Sometimes I'm cynical of a god sometimes I'm not. The key is that I am constantly evaluating my personal beliefs and I am happy with that. The unexamined life is not worth living.
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...
 
vikkyvik
Posts: 12647
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:40 am

Quoting QANTASforever (Reply 41):

Don't be swayed by people's reaction to a word. It's employed to describe those people without a religion - if others associate it with something profoundly negative - that's their problem.

I'm not swayed by other people's opinions. But I was never sure if atheist just meant that one doesn't believe in god, or if it had other connotations. So I've never really defined myself that way.

Not to mention, why label myself?

Quoting QANTASforever (Reply 41):
Guys, I hate to be picky - but to say that you 'could' care less implies you already care to some degree. If you "couldn't" care less it means that you do not care to any degree thus could not care less.

I'm very well aware of that. And I thought about changing it after I typed my post, but I decided that I could care less.  Smile
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
QANTASforever
Topic Author
Posts: 5791
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2001 6:03 am

RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:57 am

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 43):
First off, you have no right to judge my personal religous/spiritual beliefs. You know nothing of me and any judgements that you have of my beliefs just clarify what type of person you are.

I read what you wrote, and I didn't come to a conclusion set in stone - otherwise I would not have left a comment that was obviously going to be challenged or agreed with.

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 43):
but because that I saw the prevalent meaning in life

May I ask what that meaning is?

You said that the discovery of this meaning led you to a religious realisation. I'm keen to understand what that meaning is/was.

QFF
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
fumanchewd
Posts: 2878
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 7:43 am

RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:48 pm

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 44):
I'm not swayed by other people's opinions. But I was never sure if atheist just meant that one doesn't believe in god, or if it had other connotations. So I've never really defined myself that way.

I've always thought that it was interesting how people capitalize the A as if it was some kind of institution or your favorite dog. Smile
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...
 
san747
Posts: 4366
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2004 10:03 am

RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:22 pm

Quoting QANTASFOREVER (Thread starter):
This isn't meant to be an opener for an anti-christian, anti-jewish, anti-islam, anti-religion hatefest. I'm an atheist who respects the religions of the world, but I also maintain a respectful distance.



Quoting QANTASFOREVER (Thread starter):
I have kids, and I'm taking an open approach to religion. If they want to read the bible, I'll read it with them. If they want to go to church, I'll take them. If they wanted to go to a mosque I'd take them. But the difficult thing is that my children are starting to ask difficult questions about religion (How Noah fit all the animals of the world onto one boat etc), and I'm finding it tough to give them an unbiased answer without compromising my own beliefs (or lack of).

That's exactly how I am (except I don't have kids). I don't hate religious people, otherwise I'd have no friends. I'm open to all sorts of things...

I'm not necessarily not spiritual... I believe in karma and things of that nature. I'm just not a deist; I don't believe in a higher power.
Scotty doesn't know...
 
saxdiva
Posts: 2332
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 6:51 pm

RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:25 pm

Probably atheist here, maybe more of a skeptic. My sense of spirituality is kind of a universal benevolence--not personified into a divine being, and certainly nothing that resembles the tyranny and hatred I see being spread by WAY too many of today's organized religions.
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N1120A
Posts: 26790
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RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:35 pm

I am a complete and total atheist. I am not going to expand on that, because I would be typing all night.

Quoting TRVYYZ (Reply 2):
It is much easier to be an atheist than to be a believer

Actually, I think it is the other way around.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
AeroWesty
Posts: 19551
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

RE: Who Here Is An Atheist?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:52 pm

There is only one thing that has ever made sense to me:

A rock cannot understand the intelligence of a tree, a tree cannot understand the intelligence of a cat, and a cat cannot understand the intelligence of a human. It only makes sense, that there is something out there which humans cannot understand the intelligence of either.

I believe life itself is an evolutionary process, therefore reincarnation is a path to learning, and by default there are souls who are more evolved than others, and from them we may learn, since that's the highest level of intelligence we can understand.

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 23):
After thinking about it constantly I came to the conclusion that life, at least for me, has to have a purpose and that without a reason or something better then me, life is nothing but experience. This existentialism only goes so far in fulfilling our purpose.

 checkmark  I've yet to fully understand what my own purpose is, but long ago decided it wasn't important for me to know, simply learn through my experiences, and the rest would handle itself.

Does the above make me an atheist? Don't know, don't care.
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